Trump Slams AG Naming Special Counsel to Oversee Probes: 'Not Acceptable' (Getty)
Friday, 18 November 2022 04:04 PM EST
Former President Trump on Friday blasted Attorney General Merrick Garland's designation of a special counsel to oversee multiple probes against him, saying he would not participate in what he characterized as a prolonged partisan attack.
"I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore," he said in an interview. "And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this" when they take majority control of the House of Representatives for the next term.
"I have been proven innocent for six years on everything — from fake impeachments to [former special counsel Robert] Mueller who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more?" Trump said. "It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political."
In a blunt rebuke of Garland's action, he said simply: "I am not going to partake in it. I'm not going to partake in this."
Trump announced his 2024 campaign to recapture the White House on Tuesday. He appeared to suggest the timing of this further escalation was no accident.
"I have never heard of such a thing," he declared. "I announce and then they appoint a special prosecutor," he said. "They found nothing, and now they take some guy who hates Trump. This is a disgrace and only happening because I am leading in every poll in both parties."
The former president branded the special counsel move "the worst politicization of justice in our country."
In a statement on Friday afternoon, Garland said: "Based on recent developments, including the former President's announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President's stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel, Such an appointment underscores the Department's commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.
Special Counsel Jack Smith has resigned as the chief prosecutor for the special court in the Hague charged with investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo.
On the heels of his appointment, Smith released a statement: "I intend to conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice. The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate."
Trump also took aim at President Joe Biden's son Hunter, who has been accused of peddling access to his famous father to further foreign business interests. "Hunter Biden is a criminal many times over and nothing happens to him," Trump said. "Joe Biden is a criminal many times over — and nothing happens to them."